E-journal of All India Association for Educational Research (EJAIAER)

 

    VOL.20                            Nos:  3 & 4                 September & December, 2008

 

EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH IN NAGALAND - A TREND REPORT

 

Buno Liegise

Lungsang Zeliang

 

INTRODUCTION

The 16th State of the Indian Union, Nagaland is home to around sixteen tribes spread over eleven districts. The State is still predominantly rural in nature with 82.26% of the population living in the villages. One of the smaller hill states of India, with a total of 16,579 sq. kms and a population of 19, 88,636 as per 2001 census, the social composition of Nagaland, with its myriad tribes and ‘unique’ history of the Nagas, give the State a distinct character quite different from other States in India. The richness of tribal culture, colour, and systems of traditional governance remain unrivalled. Nagaland is not only a hot spot for tourists but for scholars as well. There is pretty much to see and admire and so much more to examine and study! Nagaland makes good destiny for scholars who are in search for truth and to learn from, particularly, in the field of education. There is a wide scope and enormous prospect for research in education.

 

EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH IN NAGALAND

Interestingly, the genesis of research in this area may be traced to a Ph. D.  study conducted in 1973 in the State University of New York at Buffalo by T A Shishak whose focus is on higher education for Nagaland. This study was followed by two more Ph. D. studies in 1979 by S Sarkar on impact of western education on the Ao tribe and in 1982 by R N Bhattacharjee on socio economic strategies of education. Both studies were conducted in Gauhati University. The first lady research scholar in the discipline of education appeared on the scene in 1984. R Tali did her Ph. D. study on problems of high school teachers and their attitude towards teaching profession from North East Hill University Shillong (NEHU). It follows, then, that the initial researches on Nagaland was done outside the State in the absence of research institutes/department within the state that could conduct research in the strict sense.

 

The NEHU Nagaland Campus Kohima was established in the year 1978 and with it the Department of Education. It was only after a prolonged gap that the next crop of research studies was produced. Three PhD studies were done from the erstwhile NEHU Nagaland Campus, Department of Education. Since the inception of Nagaland University in 1994, there has been a series of research studies in the field of education, the first two came in 1996 and 1999. Meanwhile, in about the same period, four other scholars pursued their research from other universities in India and abroad, like, Pennsylvania University in United States of America, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, NEHU Mizoram Campus and NEHU Shillong.

 

In recent years, apparently there is a spike in the number of research in education. Since 2000 there has been a record of thirteen PhD researches conducted in the Department of Education, Nagaland University. Today there are twenty registered PhD scholars working on their thesis and registration for fourteen scholars are under process in the same Department with many more hoping to pursue such research.

 

This encouraging trend of demand for research in education, coupled with the present slogan of ‘quality education’ necessitates a survey and assessment of studies that have been conducted. Hence the significance of the trend report on educational research. The present study is concerned with the review of researches done in the field of education in Nagaland state and includes studies done in Nagaland University, and different agencies in Nagaland such as DIET, SCERT and other Government Departments. The study also includes in its purview, studies done in other universities, states and countries pertaining to education in Nagaland. The purpose of the present study is to make a compilation of educational researches in Nagaland and to give a critical analysis of the same. This kind of study will be of great help to scholars and academicians and policy makers at different levels.

 

The prime objective of the study is to bring out a trend report which will shed light on the kind of educational research being conducted in Nagaland, reveal research gaps and issues, throw light on priority areas and show the much needed direction for future research. The study will also enable researchers to have a database of what has already been done so as to avoid unnecessary duplications.

 

The study is divided into different segments according to different stages- research at M. A.  (Education) and M. Ed. level, research in Education at M. Phil Level, and at Doctoral level in Education in Nagaland University as well as other universities. The review also includes researches and projects undertaken by different educational institutions, departments or NGOs in the field of education in Nagaland.

 

Trends of Researches

An in-depth analysis of researches done at MA Education dissertation level show that a total of 142 dissertations have been completed under the Department of Education, Nagaland University since its inception in 1978. It may be mentioned that it was under NEHU at its inception till 1994. On further scrutiny it was found that researches were done in about 26 areas of study. Following data give a clear and immediate picture of the number of research done in each of the areas.

Categorization of Research at MA Education level in Nagaland University, in terms of number and percentage are as follows:

1. Teachers and Teacher Education -21(14.79%)

2. History and Development of Education -15(10.56%)

3. Socio Cultural Studies-11 (7.75%)

4. Psychological Studies  -10 (7.04%)

5. Management/Administration -09 (6.34%)

6. Curriculum and Syllabus -08 (5.63%)

7. Wastage and Stagnation -08 (5.63%)

8. Women Studies-08 (5.63%)

9. Primary Education - 06 (4.23%)

10. Comparative Studies -06 (4.23%)

11. Guidance and Counseling-05 (3.52%)

12. Moral and Value Education-05 (3.52%)

13. Secondary Education - 05 (3.52%)

14. Computer Education - 04 (2.82%)

15. Higher Education-04 (2.82%)

16. Adult Education- 03 (2.11%)

17. Pre school Education- 02 (1.41%)

19. Girl’s Education-02(1.41%)

20. Special Education -02 (1.41%)

21. Extra-Curricular/Co curricular Studies-02 (1.41%)

22. Educational Philosophy-01 (0.70%)

23. Distance Education-01 (0.70%)

24. Sex Education-01 (0.70%)

25. Health Education-01 (0.70%)

26. Higher Secondary Education- 01 (0.70%)

18. Elementary Education- 01 (0.70%)

 Total -14299.98 %

 

At the MA Education level, the area that received the most attention was in the area of teachers’ problem and their education. This shows that research priority is in track because for any improvement in the quality of teaching, and of education in general, the quality of teaching must improve and teachers problems and needs examined. The Table also reveals that the next area that got a lot of interest was in the field of educational development and history of education in Nagaland, which accounted for 10.56 % of research at MA Education level. This area covers the indigenous type of education and also the contribution of early Christian missionaries and their impact on education.

  

M. Ed. course is not available in Nagaland University or any other Institute in the State except through the Distance Education Mode viz IGNOU Regional Center Kohima. However, five M Ed dissertations could be identified which were done in other universities. One of the topics was on vocational aspirations of class X boys and girls of Mokokchung District, Nagaland, another was on academic difficulties faced by Class VIII students of Kohima, Nagaland, the third was on a study of the contributions of Christian Missionaries towards the development of education in Nagaland from 1938 - 1995. All the studies were conducted in 1976-79 in Department of Educational Research and Studies, NEHU. The fourth study was done in the Himachal University Shimla on problems of teaching English at the primary level in the State of Nagaland in 2001 and the fifth dissertation was a study on the awareness of Indian culture among the pre-service teacher trainees of the DIETs in Nagaland conducted in Utmal University in 2006

 

 A noteworthy development in research is the recent introduction of the Masters of Philosophy Program, included in the discipline of education, in Nagaland University, 2007. Three scholars are currently working on their dissertations on the historical development of education among the Rengma and Chakhesang tribes and on intelligence, socio-economic status in relation to academic achievement of school students.

 

Ph. D.

This segment is divided into two, educational research at Ph.D level in Education conducted under Nagaland University and educational research at Ph.D level in Education conducted in Universities outside the State.

The number of Ph. D.s in Education Department, Nagaland Campus, NEHU was 3

The number of Ph. D. s  in Education Department, Nagaland University  was 15.

The number of Ph. D.s in Education on areas related to Nagaland conducted in other universities   was 10.

 

Thematic Arrangement of PhD Research in Education in Nagaland was as follows:

Test Construction:  2;  

Teacher & Teacher Education:  2; 

Development Studies: 2;                                                                                                                                                        

Special Education Studies: 5;

Environmental Education Studies: 2; 

Socio Cultural Studies: 6;

Science Education: 1;

Status Studies at Primary School Stage: 3;                                                        

Psychological Studies: 4                                                                                   

 

Categorisation of at PhD education research in Nagaland in terms of number and percentage

1. Special education studies - 05(17.86%)

2. Socio cultural studies-06 (21.43%)

3. Test construction - 02 (07.14%)

4. Environmental education studies-02 (07.14%)

5. Status studies- 03 (10.71%)

6. Psychological studies-04 (14. 29%)

7. Teacher & teacher education-02 (07.14%)

8. Historical/development studies- 02 (07.14%)

9. Science education -01(03.57%)

10. Higher education: proposal-01 (03.57 %)

Total: 28(99.99%)

 

Out of 28 Ph D researches, in total the figures reveal that the socio cultural studies received the highest research priority with the theme getting 21.43%. Next in line was the area on special education with 17.86% of the Ph D studies, followed by psychological studies 14.29%, status studies at the primary school stage 10.71 %. There were 7.14% studies conducted in test construction, which is to be encouraged. Historical studies, environmental studies and teacher education studies each comprised of 7.14% of the Ph D studies. While science education and innovative proposal for higher education received a meagre 3.57% each, the much neglected areas of study to say the least.

 

Overall it may be noted that most of the studies were descriptive in nature, employing basic statistical techniques. A few of the studies suffered from typographical and grammatical errors, underutilisation of data and information collected that reduced the standard of the studies. Hopefully future researchers will take cognizance of these lapses. 

 

In light of the above it may be said that more experimental researches need to be encouraged. Use of higher statistical techniques in analysing data will enrich analysis of findings. Researches need to be conducted in more un trodden areas. Policy research, reforms in education, innovations in education, research in emerging areas of concern like education in HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, women empowerment, quality perspectives in education, vocationalisation of education, science education, education and ICTs are some areas which need more attention.

 

For millions in the rural areas of Nagaland, the twin problems of illiteracy and poverty are still coming into the way of providing quality education to children particularly in the case of the girl child.  Fundamental issues of enrolment, retention and access to elementary education, delivery system of early childhood care and education and other centrally sponsored schemes remain to be systematically examined. The relevance and role of their history, culture and tradition vis a vis the present system of education and global challenges need to studied and intervention programs formulated and effectively implemented. 

Number of research projects conducted by Government of Nagaland Departments/ Other Institutions is as follows:

Government of Nagaland: Research Reports: 3

Research projects conducted in Nagaland University: 3

 

Research Projects conducted by SCERT/ DIETs

The State Council for Educational Research and Training and within it, the District Institutes of Education and Training recorded a total of over 30 action- research projects, which are as follows: 

1. School Curriculum -09 (28.13%)

2. Documentation-08 (25.00%)

3. Health problems- 05 (15.63% )

4. Dropout, wastage & stagnation- 03 (09.38%)

5. Communication skill-02 (06.25%)

6. Evaluation - 02 (06.25%

7. Teacher status & competence -02 ( 06.25%)

8. Communitisation -01 ( 03.13%)

Total  32 (100%)

 

Research Projects by Non-Governmental Organization

The emergence of private players in the field of research in education is an encouraging trend. For instance, established in the year 2006, the Youth Action for Rural Development (YARD), which has as its goal to promote comprehensive and sustainable development of resources with the communities, has recently ventured into educational research.

 

Besides, a National NGO called Pratham Education Foundation that works with and for underprivileged children has been involved in quality improvement program of primary schools in partnership with the School Education Department. In the process the NGO has been engaged in educational investigations in Nagaland  -  e g the annual status of educational report  -  ASER Nagaland 2007.  

 

 

CONCLUSION 

Altogether 28 Ph. D. researches in the discipline of education have been identified. Out of which 18 studies were done in the Department of Education (three studies in the erstwhile NEHU Nagaland Campus Kohima and fifteen under Nagaland University). It may thus be said that the Department of Education has been instrumental in conducting more than 64% of the PhD researches in education done so far. The contribution of other universities in India and abroad is acknowledged as it brought in new perspectives and enlightened knowledge. There has been a surge in the demand for research in education due to multiple reasons   for one, there is a requirement of PhD degree for entry and promotion in the teaching profession. It is also increasingly being realized that impact assessments of various practices in education must be made. Besides, there is a need for research in order to devise new pedagogies for effective teaching-learning process and to ensure that the system of education at all levels are in sync with the changing times and aspiration of the people. Such a condition has led to quantitative expansion of research in education, however much attention must be paid to the quality of the research studies. A close scrutiny of provisions for research available in the state reveals that there is shortage of qualified faculty; poor academic environment and lack of infrastructure for research in general; few research opportunities and meagre grants. Besides, there is limited Internet connectivity and no access to on-line resources for scholars, not to mention of reference books/materials and latest issues of journals.

 

In this day and age, a society that desires to register progress and development must make investment in research. There must be a resolve to push for educational research by the Directorate of Higher Education and Directorate of School Education, Government of Nagaland, the SCERT and Nagaland University. The increasing interest shown by the Non-Governmental Organizations in the research arena must be tapped and their expertise and resources strengthened. Further, Private - Public Partnership in educational research may be creatively explored. It is only in the interest of the state and its people that it upgrades facilities for research in general, and education in particular. Provide more opportunities for advanced research in diversified areas and extend generous grants and fellowships to those qualified and willing to engage in research. What is urgently required is transformational academic leadership that has vision, sense of global challenges and commitment to build state -of - the - art institutions of research to take the state forward in the twenty-first century.